Archives for August 16, 2015
Area A Director Mark Pendergraft confirmed today that one home destroyed near the highway in the last two days. ODN could find no trace of anything near the highway. At one point the fire crossed the highway into a area that could have been the location in questions. A lot of grass damage from Spotted Lake to the Kobau turnoff. Four skidders working that high area behind Testalinda draw until dark. Kilpoola Subdivision still guarded by RCMP around the clock as an evacuated area. Many people have left others have not according to informed sources.
Premier Christy Clark, MLA Linda Larson and Forest Minister Steve Thomson dropped into Oliver to thank volunteers and local firemen at the emergency evacuation centre.
She touched on two points – the tremendous jobs that volunteers do in the middle of any emergency.
The premier also said it is totally not-acceptable that drones would be flying in the middle of a forest fire incident – grounding helicopters and other aerial support.
The crowd small, some evacuees, volunteers, firefighters and their families, forestry officials, RDOS, Towns of Osoyoos and Oliver.
Names could be used in this instance but it would be counter productive.
We hope those person(s) will stop – notify the authorities that your actions have suspended so emergency aircraft can resume flights to fight the fire.
Below is from the Ministry of Forests
URGENT: All air operations at the Testalinden Creek fire were just halted because of a drone violating our airspace.
It is illegal to operate a drone over or near any wildfire.
Our aircraft will return to the fire once we can confirm the drone has been grounded and we can safely operate.
Record: Oliver Daily News has no drone and has never used a drone. Some of my pictures appear to be taken from high up – all of my photo shoot locations on land and within ten feet of my car. A picture taken with a long range zoom often appears to be “mid-air”.
OLIVER – Amidst the fire, smoke and disruption of two major interface fires and hundreds of overnight evacuations, one thing has become very clear – the people of Oliver and Midway are some of the most resilient, generous and compassionate in British Columbia.
Premier Christy Clark; Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson and Boundary-Similkameen MLA Linda Larson saw this first hand today, visiting the communities and hearing stories of close calls, survival and assistance from those who escaped the blaze and those who now are helping them recover.
“Some people only had minutes to leave their homes or campsites, many with only the clothes on their backs. In speaking with evacuees and volunteers today, I have been inspired by their stories of kindness for others,” said Premier Clark. “Our government will do everything possible through all available support programs to stand shoulder to shoulder with these communities in their time of need.”
At the Salvation Army in Kelowna, volunteers working for the Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team are busy collecting supplies for horses in need. Farmers and ranchers throughout the region are offering to
transport and care for evacuated animals. Small businesses are stepping up and offering food, blankets and other supplies for people who have been evacuated from their homes.
“B.C.’s firefighters have turned their full attention to doing everything possible to keep Rock Creek, Westbridge, Oliver and the people who live here safe, and keep these fires back,” said Thomson.
“To think, much of the destruction and disruption in Rock Creek looks to have been caused by the careless behaviour of an individual failing to be fire safe. It is an absolute tragedy and we must redouble our efforts to prevent human-caused forest fires.”
“In the middle of this terrible disaster, the citizens of these small communities have banded together to make lunches, provide clothing and offer shelter for those in need,” said Larson. “The volunteers who have been working tirelessly to provide this support deserve the thanks of all British Columbians.”
Officials confirmed today that 29 homes and many other structures on 11 other properties lost in the fire that reached nearly 3500 hectares.
The premier will visit Oliver at 3pm at the Oliver Community Centre.
DriveBC reports that Highway 3 has been reopened in both directions from 14 kilometres east of Osoyoos to Midway.
The highway was reopened as of 10:30 p.m. Saturday
A 50 km/h speed limit in effect.
Motorists are advised to watch for debris on road following forest fires east of Osoyoos and at Rock Creek.
Expect smoky conditions.
by Pat Whalley
Is it just me or has everyone had their share of nutty pets???
Don’t get me wrong, Dave and I absolutely love animals and are never without them, but some of them have been really strange.
First pet in our married life was Mandy, a beautiful golden lab. She belonged to Dave’s family and came with us when we married and set up house together. Mandy had been thoroughly spoiled by Dave and his parents and really thought she was entitled to everything her human friends had. Dave adored his dog and even offered her the cookie tin so she could snuffle around and find one to her liking. Unfortunately, the new wife was against this practice and put an end to it.
Of course, she slept on our bed. She started the night down at the bottom, curled up, in a corner. However once we were asleep, she would slowly shuffle up and take her place between us, head on a pillow and legs stretched out in front of her. We had a double bed and both of us woke up clinging to the edge of it while Mandy enjoyed the luxury of the middle spot and more than her third of the bed.
We had no car at that time, so outings were by bus. In England, dogs are permitted on the top deck of a bus, so we always took the stairs, settled on our seat and the dog would sit on both of our laps. This resulted in getting your clothing covered in yellow hair, but, complain as I might, Dave thought I was being irrational and the dog stayed put.
When our first daughter was born, Mandy took over as nurse maid and protector. It was an English tradition to bathe the baby in the morning and put them out in the garden, in their pram, to sleep. Mandy took up her self appointed position, by the pram, and would not allow any visitors to get too near the sleeping child. This beautiful, placid dog turned into a snarling, teeth bearing menace if anyone approached the pram.
I used to travel to another town, to visit my in-laws once a week. Outings were still on the bus, but now I had to struggle, up the bus stairs, with a baby, a folded stroller, a diaper bag and a big dog. The dog felt like our oldest child and we never thought of going places without her. However, by now I had made different rules regarding where the dog sat on the bus. She took her place at my feet and made the best of it.
There has been a succession of dogs in our lives. The first forty plus years of married life, we had golden labs. All of them much loved and very much mourned, when their time with us had come to a close. However, after much thought, when we lost our last lab, we decided to go with a smaller dog. When you reach mid sixties, there can be some big changes, during the life span of a dog. Not knowing what the future held, we decided that a smaller dog may be better. Should we have to move to an apartment or walled community, there can be strange rules regarding the size of a dog.
These rules seem strange to me, a dog is a dog and needs to be cleaned up after, no matter what the size. A big dog will give one or two loud barks but a small dog will yap for ages, so which one is more disturbing. However, we chose to go with a small dog and then decided to get two. Small dogs are great to travel with, they take up no room in an RV and take up just a tiny space on the bed. Our dogs do not shed, so no hairs on good clothes. Both our small dogs are treated like a big dog. They get muddy and will eat anything that they are given and, because we have two dogs, we feel no guilt in leaving them home when we go out.
We never actively went out and got a cat, cats always found us and we have never been without one. There is something about having a cat curled up, in a corner of a chair, that makes a house a home. Off course, the resultant shedding makes for visiting friends to go home with hairy bottoms, but that is part of the joy of visiting the Whalley home.
With four young daughters, it was inevitable that one of them would turn up with a kitten, one of ours turned up with two. My in-laws lived in our basement suite and my mom-in-law was as big a sap as myself, so we both adopted these snow white sisters. The kittens were inseparable and lived both upstairs and down, whenever the mood took them.
One day I broke off from mowing the lawn, to make lunch. I don’t know what prompted me, on my return to the chore, to look under the mower, but there were both kitties curled up together, between the blades. Thank goodness for whatever instinct made me think to look.
One cold morning I lit the fire in the rec. room. While I was arranging paper and kindling, one of the cats was making a nuisance of itself, walking between me and the fireplace. I went to look for matches and the instant I put the match to the paper, I thought about the missing cat. I felt sick as I watched the flames roaring up the chimney, but there was no sign of the cat in the room. I went outside and heard a pitiful mewling coming from the roof. The thought of the roasted cat made me physically ill and I went in search of Dave, who brought a ladder. The kids had no idea of what was going on as Dave mounted the ladder. He got to the roof and turned to give me a big grin. He brought down the very annoyed cat who didn’t have a spot of soot on it.
We figured it must have jumped onto a ledge, inside the fireplace, and when the flames appeared it had somehow managed to go straight up the chimney, to the roof. I think it must have grown wings to have got up there without even getting it’s feet dirty. Of course, big flames had given it the incentive to move quickly. I never left a fire unattended after that.
Several years later, we were moving into a bigger house, which already had a resident cat. Minky was a neutered male who lived across the road but, for some unknown reason, it preferred to live with the neighbours. They both worked full time so were happy to have the cat live with them, when they were home from work. The evening we went to view the house, the cat was sleeping on the bed.
When we moved in and took our own three female cats with us, the visitor was not happy and there was constant yowling between him and our three kitties through the windows and doors. I ignored it for almost a year as I knew it had a perfectly good home across the road. One night, we had a heck of a rainstorm. Thunder and lightening plus a terrific downpour. The poor cat sat crying at the door, soaking wet and bedraggled. I gave in and let him indoors, where he lived for the next fifteen years.
The three female cats never got to like him but they all put up with one another, apart from the odd swear word. We moved house twice with the old boy, which was OK with his previous owners. He was 21 when he passed away, very peacefully, on the door mat, the three ladies followed him over the next couple of years, all of them very old and very much loved.
One of our most memorable cats was Teddy. We had the three lady cats in residence and Minky still trying to move in with us when Teddy turned up. Teddy was another stray who had been on the streets for quite a while, according to the condition of his flea ridden coat and the bones sticking out of his big long frame. He was a very big cat but had been starved half to death.
We already had three and a half cats and I didn’t want another, but could not turn him away in his condition. We fed him outside, on the deck but I wouldn’t allow him in. In a couple of weeks we were due to go on a camping holiday and I didn’t want to be dealing with the unknown habits of a new cat, in our absence. My in-laws still lived with us and they were going to look after the indoor brood and feed the stray outside. I promised our daughters that if the stray cat was still hanging around, on our return, we would keep him.
Of course he was still there, what had I expected? I filled the sink with warm water, carried the skinny cat inside and dumped him in the sink. He sat there quietly, while I shampooed him twice with flea soap and then sat purring, as I dried him off. He purred his way right into my heart and became one of the best cats we ever owned. It didn’t take too long before this long skinny cat filled out into a beautiful ball of orange fur. He was so good natured and didn’t seem to mind when I took him to the vets for a ‘snip’. However, he never forgot his starving days and was always leaning against the fridge door, hoping for more food. Shortly after taking in Teddy, we also adopted Minky so now were the owners of five cats and a big lab.
We only had this beautiful boy a few years before he developed leukemia. We loved him through two remissions then sadly had to say goodbye to this big bundle of love.
Following the loss of our three lady cats, another stray kitten arrived, she was black and very fluffy, which saved her from very sore feet. One day I had the oven door open, while I checked on the contents. For some unknown reason the crazy cat jumped right into the oven and, just as quickly, jumped out again. The intense smell of burning fur was awful and I dumped the cat into the sink, where I was cleaning salad greens. The cat seemed OK but I took it to the vet. It had sustained no damage to it’s pads, thankfully the thick fur had protected it.
This cat never learned any lessons and one day it used up it’s last life when it decided to have some fun with a back hoe. We had someone doing a job in the yard. The back hoe was extremely noisy and you really would think that any animal would keep it’s distance. I was in the house when Dave came in with the grim news. The cat had been flattened and Dave had asked the operator of the machine to dig a hole and bury it. The poor guy was mortified, but it wasn’t his fault. I should have kept the cat indoors, but who would think that it would go near such a noisy machine?
For a short time we were cat free then, on a visit to some friends at the coast, we were asked to adopt Rosita. She was three years old and belonged to the daughter of the household, who was moving into a different apartment, with a no pets rule. The cat had been left in care of the parents who already had two cats and two dogs and she was definitely bottom of the pecking order.
We were happy to take this new little girl home, shortened her name to Rosie and she is now 14 years old. She quickly settled in to her new house with huge yard where lots of mice were found to be playing. She often brings them indoors to play with us! Always alive and always have to be rescued by me as my six foot three husband is afraid to touch them. I remove them from the jaws of doom, by the tail, and carry them back outside to thick greenery. The cat sulks for a little while and then settles down for a nap where she can dream about actually killing her prey.
Rosie enjoys full domination over the two dogs, gets the best seat in the house and has her two legged servants fully trained to do her bidding.
Over the past fifty years we have made several local vets very rich. Each one of our animals holds a special place in our hearts. When they pass, we think we will never get over their loss, but it seems that there is always another set of paws that find their way to our doorstep, and into our hearts. Our pets give us so much love and make our world a better place. I think it was Will Rogers that said “if dogs can’t go to heaven, then I won’t go there either”. I totally agree with him.
Oliver Church Group
Bring a lawn chair
$1.00 for a hotdog and…..
5pm Oliver Community Park
Rescuing the Important
A theme has pervaded the reports and interviews arising out of the rash of fires around our country. Although the devastation of losing property and personal belongings is very real and very stressful, a frequent response reveals several things that identify what really counts.
Family – the lives of family members figures high on the list. Even if much else is lost the value of family rises above it.
Friends – the care and help of friends who put themselves out for the unfortunate rates very high on the list of what was meaningful. The bonds of friendship are strong in times like this.
Memories – items we possess that cannot be replaced by money or insurance are often among the things rescued first. Life is so wrapped up in memories triggered by items we cherish.
It’s almost as though the fire has burned away some of the hard feelings and bad memories we’ve harbored against others. We must not trivialize material loss, but perhaps this is a sunny side to tragedy.